Dried flowers of Daphne genkwa Sieb. et Zucc. (Thymelaeaceae) are a Chinese herbal medicine used as an abortifacient with purgative, diuretic and anti-inflammatory activities. However, the activity of this medicine against enteroviral infections has not been investigated. The water-extract of dried buds of D. genkwa Sieb. et Zucc. (DGFW) was examined against various strains of enterovirus 71 (EV71) by neutralization assay, and its initial mode of action was characterized by time-of-addition assay followed by attachment and penetration assays. Pretreatment of DGFW with virus abolished viral replication, indicating that DGFW inhibits EV71 by targeting the virus. GFW exerts its anti-EV71 effects by inhibiting viral entry without producing cytotoxic side effects and thus provides a potential agent for antiviral chemotherapeutics.